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Wild bird cover becoming established in North Dublin.

There are almost 50,000 participants in the Green Low-carbon Agri-environmental Scheme (GLAS) funded by the Rural Development Programme 2014-2020. Some GLAS participants selected Wild Bird Cover (WBC) as a measure for their farms. Farmers have until May 31st 2020 to re-sow their wild bird cover areas for this year. Animals are allowed to graze from 15th March to help with decomposition before cultivation of the new crop begins. Farmers can select from a one year WBC option or a two year WBC option.

The one year rotation requires annual cultivation to provide a new crop establistment each year. Crops grown in the one year rotation are a mixture of a cereal (oats, barley, wheat or triticale) with one of the following – linseed, oilseedrape or mustard. For crops grown in the two year rotation, the wild bird cover is split in half – one half includes kale which grows for two years and the remainder is a mixture of the one year rotation.

The WBC is an action that helps provide food and shelter for our farmland birds. Seed eating birds are in decline due to the intensification of farming. This has led to changes in land use, which has decreased tillage in many counties over a number of decades. Seed eating birds require a variety of seeds from large cereal seeds to small seeds from linseed or kale crops.

The WBC also provides benefits for pollinators and insects. Birds and bats feed on insects and worms. Small mammals such as mice and hedgehogs may use the crop as protection from birds of prey such as the barn owl.

Additional Information.

Source: NRN & DAFM
Image Source: NRN

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